Australia ‘confident’ in Quad despite summit doubt

The federal government remains confident a meeting of Quad leaders will still go ahead, despite uncertainty surrounding when a summit could be held.

Leaders from Quad nations – which includes Australia, the US, India and Japan – were potentially set to meet in India in late January.

However, those plans were put on hold due to US President Joe Biden declining an invitation to attend, with no firm date on when a 2024 summit of Quad leaders would take place.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the leadership forum remained critical for Australia and he was optimistic of in-person talks taking place later in the year.

“This is a really important arrangement between four like-minded countries … and we’re very confident that those arrangements remain very, very strong,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.

“We’re realistic about the fact that certainly two, potentially three, of the four Quad members have important elections over the course of 2024, and that’s likely to impact on meeting dates.”

Americans will go to the polls in November, with Mr Biden seeking a second term as president, while elections will be held in India between April and May.

The security dialogue was elevated to a leaders summit in 2021, which was seen as a counter to growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.

Australia was due to host the Quad Summit in 2023, but it was called off after Mr Biden cancelled his visit due to ongoing negotiations over the US debt ceiling.

The four leaders held an informal meeting instead on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima.


Andrew Brown
(Australian Associated Press)


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